Maybe you have heard about the IPO that raised billions in funding for Twitter’s next big steps. However, in the midst of all that confusion, you might have missed the flurry of developments that can empower your next trade show event.
Some of these game changers have been technological – features or apps that will bolster the social network’s effectiveness. Possibly, these new features are what tipped the scales toward the deal recently struck with the NFL, Verizon, Viacom, and Time Warner, Inc. Earlier this year, announcements were made that these international firms would help broadcast, via Twitter, the National Football League’s own little trade show, otherwise known as, Super Bowl XLVIII.
So what made Twitter the standout social media choice for the NFL? Consider these ideas, along with tips on how you can use them to boost your association’s status, increase brand awareness, and host a trade show event that breaks new boundaries in your industry.
Caution: This article is not for the Twitter newbie! If you are unfamiliar with some of the “bread & butter” tactics for effective Twitter usage, then you might want to take a look at Mashable’s Beginner’s Guide to Twitter. Additional advice can be found on Axiom’s blog on conferences and social media and Wood Street’s blog on great ideas for trade show promotion. Once you are prepared, come back for these cutting-edge tips!
New Way #1 – Teach Participants How to Use the Vine App
It has been only a year since Twitter acquired Vine Labs, Inc. and already its mobile phone application has been installed on 12.5% of iPhones in the United States, making it the #18 most popular app on the app market. The software synchronizes your mobile device’s video camera with your Twitter feed, enabling simple and convenient video sharing in 6-second clips. Put this in the hands of your participants, and you will have real-time video coverage broadcast across your network and into the far reaches of your industry. You can download the Vine app for Android and, as of mid-November, for Windows Phones.
New Way #2 – Use Hootsuite’s HootFeed for Real-Time Interactivity
One of the most exciting reasons to power your trade show event with Twitter is the instant importance placed on the event. Industry professionals unable to attend the event can receive reports of the major happenings by people on the ground. Using HootFeed can enable you to turn up the volume on your national, or even global, reach.
Enlist someone at the event to video record guest speakers and keynotes as he or she opens up the line for questions, and then post the video via Vine. When questions or comments start rolling in, project your Hootfeed to show Tweets about your event in real-time. The speaker should answer any questions your followers are posting, or respond to comments as though the Twitter followers were sitting in the audience.
New Way #3 – Takeaways from Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014
No one knows how to put on a show like the NFL does. Roughly, 110 million people have watched the Super Bowl every one of the last three years. The sheer volume of consumers draws even more attention and marketing dollars from businesses and networks who want a moment in the spotlight. Now imagine how much extra reach the event will have across the Twittersphere. Imagine people in the audience communicating with fans watching from home, sharing video, and commenting.
Certainly, the same principles can apply to your organization’s annual or semi-annual event. However, you cannot do this alone. Just as the NFL teamed up with Verizon and Viacom, you will also need dedicated help. Many of the organizations who will send representatives to the show already have a stake in:
- The success of the event
- Spreading their brand awareness to event members
In order to integrate social media into your trade show, successfully, seek the assistance of a tech-savvy company, or two, which will be more than happy to take responsibility for some of the social media setup and organization.
New Way #4 – Promote the Event Hashtag with Real-World Products
Something truly exciting happens when the digital world and real world combine. Free giveaways at trade shows have always been a great way to brand the event and inspire loyalty, but they can also promote tweets. Print the event Twitter hashtag on promotional products, like T-shirts, travel mugs or glassware, to push your tweets to a new level.
New Way #5 – Use Custom Timelines
Social media allows you to memorialize the event, so that your industry can analyze and evaluate the event after the fact. In November, Twitter released “Custom Timelines,” a new feature allowing you to curate the event tweets and create a compelling and organized story of the most important communications. This gives participants added incentive to continue generating new discussion well after the event has concluded.
Twitter’s developments in the last year are surely a reason for optimism about the social network’s increasingly streamlined interface and useful features. Equally important has been CEO Dick Costolo’s vision for the future of the firm. Judging from his recent comments, in conjunction with how we have seen him deliver tangible results, we expect even more game changers from Twitter, which will change how associations interact in the Twittersphere of 2014.
About the Author: Dick Nelson, CEO of MARCO Promotional Products, has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years. Dick has never thought of his work as work, but rather as an intriguing place to spend his working hours. Away from the workplace, he enjoys playing golf, much of the time with his wife, and spending time with his children and grandchildren when he can.